Thursday, July 30, 2015

Test Optional? Really?

Since George Washington University announced it joined the ranks of "test optional" schools, home educators wonder what it means for them.

Though some universities are moving toward test optional for public and private schooled graduates, not all schools are following suit for college-bound, home-educated students. We personally found it wise and helpful to research the admission requirements for our student's top colleges of choice, first and then work to meet those requirements. Though we were pleasantly surprised to find some test optional or test flexible, others were not.

So, which schools are really test optional for home educated grads at the time of research, July 2015?

Adventist University of Health Sciences, Orlando, FL
Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA
Albright College, Reading, PA
Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
American University, Washington, D.C. (home education admissions link)
Arkansas Baptist College, Little Rock, AR
Bay State College, Boston, MA
Bellevue University, Bellevue, NE
Beloit College, Beloit, WI
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Boston MA
Bryant University, Smithfield, RI
Bryn-Mawr College, Bryn-Mawr, PA
Catawba College, Salisbury, NC
City College, various locations, FL
Clark University, Worcester, MA
Emmanuel College, Boston, MA
Faith Evangelical College and Seminary, Tacoma, WA
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY
Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL
Furman University, Greenville, SC
Providence College, Providence, RI
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Colleges and universities may be added. Check back soon!

Note: Wording can be confusing. Interpreting the words should, must, advised, required, and recommend is essential. When there are questions, contact the admission office of the university.

When considering test optional universities, homeschoolers may want to consider:
  • Schools which list as test optional for general public and private school graduates, may not have the same policies for home educated graduates. Read the fine print.
  • Though the university may be test optional, supplemental information may be required including a homeschooling philosophy, curriculum used, and methods utilized. 
  • Colleges which accept students without SAT or ACT scores may require validations which may include dual enrollment grades.
  • Researching every college carefully, and recheck requirements yearly. Admission policies do change.
  • Test optional may mean "interview". Work to help your student be interview-ready. 
I have learned it is recommended that students take the SAT or ACT, at a minimum, while in high school. Though there are test optional universities, and the list may continue to grow, there still are many which have very specific application requirements. 

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